In 2016, private training providers presented 84% of the providers present on the market in the Grand Duchy. Almost three-quarters of the structures had fewer than five employees. Half of the private providers had training as their sole or main activity and did not extend their activity outside the Grand Duchy. Private providers continue to consider word-of-mouth very important. Internet remains the most frequently used channel of promotion. Presence on the social media (FaceBook, LinkedIn, etc.) is a key factor.
The data used comes from a recurrent survey of training providers in the Grand Duchy carried out every three years by the Training Observatory (Observatoire de la Formation).
Structure of training supply
The market for training in the Grand Duchy covers a number of different categories of training bodies:
- private bodies,
- institutional / sectoral bodies,
- not-for-profit associations.
For 2017, 1.205 contacts are listed. The survey has made it possible to list 441 training providers active in the Grand Duchy, 373 of which had offered activities in relation to training in 2016. The 25 providers created in 2017, together with the 43 that did not answer the questions on their training practices, are not included in the survey.
In 2016, more than four in five training providers (84%) were in the private sector.
On average, the private providers have eight or nine years' experience in the training field. Half of them began their training activity after 2011, a third between 2014 and 2016. There are more structures with fewer than five salaried employees among the private providers (73%), and indeed 32% have no salaried employees at all. For half the private providers, and particularly those with fewer than five salaried employees, training is their sole (15%) or main (35%) activity.
More than half the salaried employees are trainers in 39% of the private providers which have at least one salaried employee. The proportion increases in the smallest structures (49%) and in those where training is the sole or main activity (64%). Half the private providers (51%) make use of the services of outside trainers. The largest structures use external trainers more - 79% among those with 20 or more employees.
The proportion of private providers with at least one training room stands at 56%. Half the private providers said they hired premises for their training activities.
Half the private providers (49%) do not offer training outside the Grand Duchy. For 20% of the private providers, their geographical area of activity corresponds to the Greater Region. For the others, their commercial activity extends beyond the borders of the regions bordering the Grand Duchy: 17% limit their operations to the European countries, whereas 14% also operate beyond the European borders.
In terms of the commercial strategy of private training providers, word-of-mouth and face-to-face appointments with training buyers remain the main means of communication used for marketing (74 and 62% respectively). The commercial success of the private providers is also based on the use of the Internet and the social media. The private providers feel their Internet site (58%) and e-mail prospecting (57%) are very important. More than half the private providers (54%) consider their presence on the social media (FaceBook, LinkedIn, etc.) to be a decisive factor.
Much less importance is paid to promotion involving payment. Buying online advertising space is the most-used means of communication for only 13% of the private providers. They do not rely on the written press much either (10%), or on radio and television (2%).
The training providers' perception of quality
The AFNOR definition of 'quality of service' is the ability of the characteristics of a service to meet the various needs of its users or consumers. From the point of view of training providers, the use of qualified trainers (81%), the regular updating of training content (65%), taking account of learners' final assessment (60%) and flexibility in the organisation of the training (54%) are the main characteristics to take into account in determining the quality of a training action.
Nearly eight in ten training providers (78%) said they had implemented procedures for managing and monitoring trainers. The institutional/sectoral and not-for-profit providers were particularly sensitive to the selection of trainers (91% and 72% respectively) and to their assessment by the learners (77% and 59% respectively).
Almost nine in ten training providers (87%) said they had implemented procedures for managing and monitoring training content. Regular adaptation of content to market requirements (72%), the monitoring and updating of teaching materials (65%) and the description of the aims of both training and skills (62%) had priority.
Adapting teaching to the learners' profile (46%), ensuring the technical competence of trainers (44%) and strengthening the credibility of the structure (44%), together with adapting teaching to the learners' profile (46%) are the main advantages training providers consider their quality approach produce.
Lack of time (53%) and lack of human and financial resources (30% and 27% respectively) are among the main hindrances to setting up a quality approach. 28% of training providers find it hard to assess the return on investment of a quality approach.
How training providers operate
In 2016, most training providers drew up custom-made training programmes adapted to the specific needs of their clients. In all, 94% of training providers delivered custom-made training, and 57% provided off-the-shelf courses. There was much more call from clients for intra-company off-the-shelf and costom-made training than for inter-company off-the-shelf training (84% and 16%). 39% of training providers offered advisory, audit and study services alongside their training activity; 24% offered skills assessment services.
The training areas covered by the majority of the training providers are still 'personal and professional development' (44%) and 'business management, human resources' (37%). The offer of the institutional/sectoral providers is the most extensive. 32% of them specialise in a single area, while 41% cover four or more areas. The training offered by not-for-profit organisations and private providers is more focused: 38% specialise in a single area, 19% cover four areas, and 26% cover more than four areas.
Most of the training bodies (80%) offer courses in more than one language. More than nine in ten (93%) use French to deliver their courses. Luxembourgish is one of the three most frequently used languages for delivering courses, with French and English. 26% of training providers deliver courses in e-learning mode. This is usually used to supplement classroom teaching (78%). As a rule, a certificate is used to attest participation in a training course. Nearly nine in ten training providers (87%) issue an attestation of attendance.
Training providers mainly train executives, managers and employees in the private sector (92%), particularly in businesses in the sectors of 'Financial and insurance activities' (60%), 'Industry' (48%) and 'Information and Communication' (42%). Three training providers in ten deliver training to job-seekers. Individuals paying for their own training attend classes delivered by half the training providers (51%).
Review and prospects
In 2016, annual turnover generated by the training activity was less than 50.000 euros for 61% of the training providers. For 10% of them, the turnover was more than 500.000 euros.
The distribution of revenue varies according to status, size, and the importance of the training activity.
More than seven private training providers (78%) and not-for-profit associations (73%) out of ten generated less than 100.000 euros in annual revenue. 45% of the institutional/sectoral providers generated more than 499.999 euros. They accounted for 38% of the number of people trained and 38% of the total number of hours of training dispensed.
More than a third (34%) of the training providers with 20 or more salaried employees had turnover of more than 500.000 euros. The revenue of most of the structures with no salaried employees (85%) was below 50.000 euros. Where the training activity was secondary, 74% of the training providers generated less than 50.000 euros in annual turnover from this activity, and 4% more than 499.999 euros. On the other hand, where training was their sole or main activity, only 49% generated less than 50.000 euros and 17% exceeded 499.999 euros.
Few training providers thought the future was uncertain in the short and medium term. In the short term, for 2017, 7% said they were uncertain about the evolution of their turnover. In the medium term, over a three-year period (2017-19), only 11% said they were uncertain about the evolution of their turnover.
The training providers are more optimistic in the medium term than in the short term: 56% thought their turnover would increase in 2017-19, compared with 44% for 2017.